The forgotten verse

All Creatures of Our God and King is a hymn written by William Draper at the beginning of the last century. It is essentially a paraphrase of ‘The Canticle of the Sun’, a poem written by St. Francis of Assisi in 1224, the last year of his life. The final verse of the poem was composed just a few minutes before he died, and is paraphrased in Draper’s hymn very powerfully, although it rarely appears in hymnbooks:

And thou most kind and gentle Death,
Waiting to hush our latest breath,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou leadest home the child of God,
And Christ our Lord the way hath trod.
O praise Him! Alleluia!

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